A gorgeous morning through the locks at Audlem this morning. Well maintained and a beautiful flight- they really are a pleasure to work ….although the boatmen of long ago may not agree with me; those on their way up would have just swapped horses at the bottom and would be pushing on, working hard.
We stopped at he bottom for a visit to the canalside shop and to buy a few supplies from the supermarket. We also filled with water and generally tidied up. Once under way, we slipped through the last 2 Audlem locks easily and were eating up the miles to Hack Green. The weather was still blustery and we were wondering about the “gale force winds” that were forecast for later on- didn’t sound good to us. At Hack Green, we passed a boater who was interested in buying Harebell last year and had an offer refused…..Even more we think that she was meant to be ours. Apparently, as he was coming up the second lock, he recognised her as I sat waiting in the first lock….quite a distance and giving Marcus a run for his money with regard to recognising and remembering boats.
As we got nearer Nantwich, the clouds came across and our entrance onto the Llangollen looked to be overshadowed by wind and rain; you’d think we’d be used to it by now, but I was still longing for some sunshine.
Sure enough, we battled the elements at Hurleston and had the complete attention of the lock keeper, as we were the only boat around. By the time we’d completed the 4 locks, it was raining quite a lot and our thoughts were turning to somewhere to stop. However, we pressed on through the 2 Swanley Locks. Marcus saw a Charlie Fox boat at Swanley Marina- we didn’t have chance to stop or opportunity for a picture, so it will have to wait until we come back.
We found what we hoped was a sheltered spot and moored up for the night. The wind got up something fierce in the evening and was blowing into the front cockpit, through the cratch cover and billowing it out. We were also being bumped against the side of the piling,as the wind did it’s worst. It was hard to fall asleep and at one stage, Marcus realised that he should have brought the cans in from the roof after all, so had to go out in the wind & rain to retrieve them. I never need much excuse to start worrying that the wind damage would be catastrophic and tonight was no exception….it was a long, noisy sleepless night.